Blog Post

The Vineyard Gazette recently published an article detailing an in-vessel compost project on Martha’s Vineyard. The new equipment will help the non-profit Island Grown Initiative (IGI) achieve its mission to reduce and redirect food waste on the Vineyard.

Because of the limited disposal capacity on the Island, waste is regularly shipped back to mainland Massachusetts, which increases disposal costs. With the introduction of a new in-vessel composting system, Martha’s Vineyard creates additional capacity to efficiently process large quantities of food scraps with minimal risk of nuisance conditions such as pests or odors. This is good news for food service businesses on the Island that may want to begin composting their food scraps locally.

Last year, IGI composted 120 tons of food waste using a windrow composting system, a relatively small amount compared to the 6,500 tons of food waste that were shipped off-island. The new in-vessel system is a 13 ton, 45 foot long cylindrical machine that rotates to create the optimal environment for processing organic waste. All of the materials are enclosed, protecting them from animals and reducing odor. As IGI refines their recipe, the vessel should convert food scraps into compost at three times the rate of the windrow system. The compost can then be left to cure and used to grow more food on Martha’s Vineyard.

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to assist businesses and institutions with reuse, recycling, and food waste diversion. Our resources and technical assistance can help your organization evaluate all forms of food recovery, from source reduction and donating surplus food to source separation of food scraps. RecyclingWorks also provides no-cost compost site technical assistance to support food waste composting infrastructure in Massachusetts. To learn more, call the RecyclingWorks hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at